8-Point Buying Checklist: Used Cars & Trucks

Buying a used car can be a catch-22 situation. On the one hand, you have prices so low that they make you salivate and jump for joy at the thought of the savings you’ll enjoy. Buying a pre-owned car can put as much as 60% of the retail price back in your pocket – who can resist that?

On the other hand, you could be inheriting some else’s mistakes, which could cost you much more in the long run. That’s why you need to make sure that the pre-owned car you choose is your best option. We’ve put together a checklist of things you should consider before buying a used car:

Used Car Dealer Checklist

Before you choose which car to buy, you need to decide which used car dealer to buy it from. There are many used car dealers in Martinsburg, WV, some better than others. To help you decide which car dealership to buy your car from, here’s your first checklist:

  • How many cars do they have? This might sound like a random question but the variety of cars a used car dealer has is a sign you need to pay attention to. Used car dealers with many options tend to be better equipped and more experienced. It shows that the car dealership is a professional operation that’ll be able to take care of your needs and will be around for a long time.
  • Are their cars clean? Similar to the previous question, this is a subtle sign that shows that your used car dealer is professional.
  • What is their return policy? You won’t find any dealer that will give you your money back, however a good car dealer will allow you some time to rethink your choice and at least provide equal value.
  • Do they resort to pushy sales tactics? Be wary of a used car dealer that rushes you, objects to your questions or is pushy in any way. You need to be 100% sure about your decision and a professional dealer will understand that.

The Most Important Things To Check In The Car

Inspecting a used car for faults can be quite intimidating and the list for things to check for can seem never-ending! That’s why in this article we’ll go over only the most important items to check for. Remember to have a pen and a notepad with you when you go to the used car dealership to you can take notes regarding the following:

  • Mileage. Does the way that the car looks and the mileage number look consistent? If the car looks like it’s seen better days, yet has extremely low mileage, expect some foul play at work.
  • Window, locks and controls. Does everything work properly? If you don’t check every window, bell and whistle on your car, then it will be on you if something doesn’t work the way you hoped it would.
  • Safety. Do the tires have more than 3mm of tread on them and are they in good condition? Is the spare wheel in a good condition? Are the seatbelts working properly? Do a quick safety check and you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Engine. Are there any fluid leaks? Are there any shiny particles in the oil? (This could mean the engine is shredding from the inside) Are there any weird sounds when you start the car? Is the clutch working properly? These are all important questions to ask when buying a used car.

It’s always helpful to go to a dealership with someone who knows a lot about cars, however, with this checklist in hand you’ll avoid many of the mistakes that can cause buyers’ remorse when buying used cars..

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